It’s PSAT and SAT season and everybody is stressed. So whether it’s your first time taking it, or have had previous experiences, we all feel the pressure to improve our performances. So here are some studying tips to help prepare yourself for the upcoming exams!
- Use the practice booklet provided by the English teachers.
For first-timers, this can give you an idea of the format of PSATs. So when you take the test, you already know how it is structured and prevent any confusions. In addition, practice and time yourself to improve your pacing. SATs are timed, and when the thirty minute mark is announced, you might find yourself not even close to being halfway through the test. Sometimes, you won’t have time to read through everything, so guessing can come as a last resort. It’s better to guess, than to leave an answer blank (wrong answers are not deducted from your score). Remember that timing is crucial and being able to skim read, is an essential skill when taking these types of tests.
- Use online practice tests.
If the booklet isn’t enough, check out online practices. You can find these at websites such as Khan Academy and College Board. Khan Academy has personalized, interactive practice tests that give you instant feedback to identify you areas of weakness. These questions are approved by College Board, and they even provide four official SAT practices for your convenience. Take advantage of the power of the internet!
- Focus on your weaknesses.
Once you have been able to identify your areas of weakness, you can prepare yourself more efficiently by repeatedly practicing these concepts. How the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. Review the most frequently tested concepts and the ones you struggle the most with, whether they are sentence structure, vocabulary or algebra. Practice is essential. Besides, by practicing these skills, you also practice your test taking skills. Don’t forget that test taking skills are not innate, but learned!
- Create a study schedule.
Having a study schedule planned is essential for preparing for the SATs. Make time out of your routine to sit down and review all of the previously mentioned steps. Use the provided booklet and online resources to practice the concepts, specially problem areas, and time your tests. Having an organized, concrete study schedule established will prevent procrastination and last minute mental breakdowns (although we have all been there).
Despite everything, just remember, this isn’t the end of the world. If you don’t do as well as you hoped for, you can always retake the SAT and do better the next time. Even so, always try your best and keep a positive mentality. Everyone gets nervous, but don’t stress too much and focus more in practicing (just don’t cram everything the night before). The more you prepare yourself, the less stressed and more confident you will be when taking the actual test!
The next SAT is on December 2, 2017.